Tom Cotton (AP/Carolyn Kaster)

Senator Tom Cotton wants a "merit-based system" for immigration

The Arkansas Senator has a long history of anti-immigrant rhetoric


Matthew Rozsa
March 9, 2017 1:00AM (UTC)

Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who is known for his often heated anti-immigrant rhetoric, told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Wednesday that he supports a "merit-based system" for immigration.

Cotton and Sen. David Perdue, R-Georgia, had both met with President Trump on Tuesday to discuss a bill they had introduced the previous month for reducing legal immigration.

Advertisement:

"The President has said in public, as he told us yesterday, that he wants to move in the direction of, for instance, Canada and Australia, and focused on more of what he calls a merit-based system. Our legislation is the first step in that," Cotton told host Joe Scarborough. "He’d like to see additional steps focusing on some of the employment based green cards and visas. And we’re happy to work with him on that."

Cotton and Sen. David Perdue, R-Georgia, had both met with President Trump on Tuesday to discuss a bill they had introduced the previous month for reducing legal immigration.

When asked about the immigration of high-skilled workers, Perdue said:

I think on the H1B temporary visa, but also the permanent green cards like EB1 and EB2, the president wants to get the very best from around the world. Often those programs are implemented in a way that are not consistent with their purposes. They don't bring in PhDs and computer scientists. They replace mid-level data management workers.

During an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" in 2014, Cotton controversially claimed that Mexican drug cartels "have clearly shown they'e ready to expand outside the drug trade into human trafficking and potentially even terrorism. They could infiltrate our defenseless southern border and attack it right here in places like Arkansas." At a town hall meeting last month, a 7-year-old child told Cotton that anti-immigration policies like those supported by President Trump "makes Mexicans not important."


Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

MORE FROM Matthew Rozsa

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Donald Trump Immigration Tom Cotton

BROWSE SALON.COM
COMPLETELY AD FREE,
FOR THE NEXT HOUR

Read Now, Pay Later - no upfront
registration for 1-Hour Access

Click Here
7-Day Access and Monthly
Subscriptions also available
No tracking or personal data collection
beyond name and email address

•••






Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •